Dr. Susan I. Bernatz, Ph.D. is a leading expert in the areas of undue influence and mental capacity in will and trust contests, contested conservatorships and financial abuse in the older and dependent adults. She serves as an expert and consulting witness, provides litigation support to law firms and numerous public agencies throughout the United States and is also a court appointed 730 Expert Witness for the Los Angeles County Superior Courts.
In 1996, Dr. Bernatz opened her practice with a focus that was laser sharp: to provide clinical and forensic neuropsychological evaluations of older adults with diminished capacity. She soon became a consultant to the Los Angeles County Financial Abuse Specialist Team, a network of professionals dedicated to educating service providers about financial exploitation of elders and dependent adults. Her devotion to this under-voiced group continued, and, in 2007, Dr. Bernatz and other founding members opened the doors to the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center—for which her experts serve today as the neuropsychological team at LAC+USC Medical Center.
Dr. Bernatz is a sought after speaker and has given numerous presentations and training on mental capacity and undue influence to a range of audiences. She continues to investigate and provide research in the area of elder abuse and has done collaborative research with many major institutions. She has also written several highly regarded articles on the subjects for academic and professional publications.
Dr. Bernatz is a licensed psychologist (PSY13345). She received her Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology and Neuropsychological Post-Doctoral Certificate from Fielding Graduate University.
When not busy with her practice, Dr. Bernatz enjoys the ‘zen glide’ while surfing, bagging a mountain peak or hanging with her favorite four-legged friend, her Flat Coated Retriever, Dillon Rose.